Overhead power lines come with many benefits. They are cost-effective, easy to detect and repair faults, easy to expand, reliable during outages, and are perfect for long-distance power transmissions. Therefore, they are an option worth considering if you plan to install power in your home. Electric poles typically support overhead power lines. For this reason, it is beneficial to pay attention to the electric poles you choose for power installation. That's because electric poles are generally made from different materials, and each material has its benefits and drawbacks. With that in mind, here is an in-depth look into some of the standard electric pole materials.
Wood is one of the most common electric pole materials you will find. They are a low-cost option compared to other electric pole materials, ideal if you have a limited budget. While they are made from solid wood species and can last, wooden electric poles are typically not as strong and durable as other electric pole materials. In addition, because of wood's susceptibility to moisture and pests, wooden poles require higher-level maintenance than other electric pole materials. Also, because of their availability and low cost, wooden electric poles are standard in rural settings.
Steel is another electric pole material to consider when thinking about installing overhead power lines. Steel electric poles are typically more expensive than their wooden counterparts. However, this pays off in many ways. For instance, steel electric poles are stronger, longer-lasting, and have a higher load-bearing capacity than their wooden counterparts. In addition, they are more resistant to outdoor elements like wind, rain, UV rays, etc., making them more resistant to occasional wear and tear. What's more, they require less maintenance. On the downside, however, unless coated, steel can corrode over time. Moreover, electrocution risks are high with steel poles, especially if there's contact with live wires. Therefore, they tend to call for more robust electrical safety features.
You can also choose concrete poles for your overhead power lines. They are preferred for their high load-bearing capacity as it's the highest of the three. Concrete electric poles are equally strong and durable like steel with excellent insulation properties. Generally, they come in two primary options: plain cement concrete and reinforced cement concrete. As the name implies, reinforced cement concrete is stronger, but it comes at an extra cost. However, one of the major drawbacks of these electric poles is their weight. Since they are considerably heavier than their steel and wooden counterparts, transportation and installation can be complex and expensive.